Mumbai: The internal disputes between the doctors and the dean of JJ Hospital, Mumbai has led to nine doctors tendering their resignations. This was followed by a strike by the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors. The patients are suffering due to the strike.
Various political leaders have appealed to the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and Health Minister to intervene and work out a solution to the problem. The doctors resigned alleging harassment by Dean Dr Pallavi Saple.
Renowned ophthalmologist Dr Tatyarao Lahane resigned on Wednesday due to a dispute with the Dean Dr Saple. Nine senior doctors followed suit and tendered resignations in support of Dr Lahane. As if this was not enough, resident doctors also proceeded on strike. The Department of Ophthalmology at the hospital used to get about 30 patients every day prior to 1995. Now on average, 400 patients visit the department. The department was granted a status of an Institution in 2008.
All kinds of services are provided by the department. The doctors on holidays conduct camps in rural areas. During the last 28 years over 30 lakh patients have been treated through 692 camps.
Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) lodged a complaint with the Dean against 28 doctors, on May 22, 20023. The dean sought a reply from the Head of the Department Dr Gajanan Chavan. However, before he could submit the reply, enquiry into the complaint was initiated under a committee headed by Dr Ashok Anand.
Enquiry through Dr Anand was opposed, as he had faced enquiry for allegations of harassment by a lady doctor. The enquiry was conducted by Dr Ragini Parekh. Similarly, a complaint against Dr Lahane, Dr Ranjit Mankeshwar, Dr Bhandarwar, Dr Eknath Pawar and Dr Abhichandani under the Atrocities Act was lodged by Dr Parekh. Enquiry through Dr Ashok Anand was opposed suspecting bias and the possibility of vengeance by Dr Anand.
It is also alleged that enquiry has been instituted without listening to the resident doctors and teachers.
Dr Lahane continued to serve the patients even after his retirement from service. He is leading the ‘Cataract-free Maharashtra’ mission of the government. He has not been paid wages. He has been imposed a fine of Rs 7 lakh for using the government residential premises and has been directed to vacate it. He, however, continued to serve the patients without taking leave.
The doctors who have resigned allege that they are being insulted. The department is earning a bad name because of the dispute.
Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar and others have appealed to the Chief Minister and others to intervene and sort out the problem to prevent further loss to the patients.